In a weekend of upsets, including the Patriots losing to the Jets and Cincy Beating Green Bay, I will congratulate the Bears on a tough game well played. Â The Bears were able to do what the Steelers were not – kick field goals in clutch moments. Â However, it wasn’t just the field goals that led to the ultimate check in the “L” category.
Santonio Holmes had 5 catches for 83 yards but also had two big drops, one of which would have been a TD in the endzone. Â The weather had something to do with this, however, not everything. Â The defense looked sloppy again prior to when the intermittent downpours began.
The positive news here is that the running game showed up. Â The Steelers had 105 yards rushing – Willie Parker had 47 yards and Reshard Mendenhall added 39 yards. Â Mendenhall came up big specifically on two plays – one of which set up Ben for the 2 yard bootleg touchdown.
Ben threw 23 of 35 for 221 yards and the offensive line actually had decent protection all around. Â Without much change, it’s interesting that the offense is starting to develop and the defense still looks sloppy. The offensive line held Forte to limited yardage and Ben was only sacked once.
Special teams held David Hester to just 14 yards on two punt returns. Â Overall coverage was good. Â The Bears attacked the defensive gap down the middle. Â Without Troy Polamalu and now Tyrone Carter with a hurt thigh, the ability to cover man-to-man in many instances is difficult, ultimately leavin a gap – Cutler was able to take avantage of that and threw 27 of 38 for 236 yards and 2 TD’s.
There’s also this nagging problem with penalties. Â The Steelers had 5 penalties costing them 42 yards in the first half alone.
Jeff Reed uncharacteristically missed two field goals in Chicago. Â He hasn’t missed two field goals in a single game since 2004. Â The first was a 38 yard kick which hung wide left. Â The second came with just 3:18 minutes to go in the game which was tied at 14-14 from 43 yards out. Â Jeff Reed has consistently kicked in game winning situations and won the game for the Steelers, that just wasn’t so yesterday.
No game in the NFL is easy, and those who think they are will come out the losing team. Â Next week is Cincinnatti and the Steelers need to go in with the attitude of champions and come together and win like the team they are. Â They have played in worse elements than the rain that poured down on Soldier Field and won, it’s about the passon and commitment and reducing the number of mental errors. Everyone needs to be present on game day.
Week 2: Steelers 1-1